Dentsu, Nihon Unisys and MIT Media Lab Announce Third Step of Their Collaborative Project Aimed at Creating ‘Context-reading Communication Computer’

May 16, 2011

TOKYO, May 17, 2011/PRNewswire/ — Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo: 4324; ISIN: JP3551520004; President & CEO: Tadashi Ishii; Head Office: Tokyo; Capital: 58,967.1 million yen; hereinafter “Dentsu”) announced on May 17 the launch of the “Finding Gifts with Sasha” (http://sasha.nadya.jp) site as the third step of its collaborative project with Nihon Unisys Ltd. (Tokyo: 8056; President & CEO: Katsuto Momii; Corporate Headquarters: Tokyo; hereinafter “Nihon Unisys” and the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) Media Lab (see Note) aimed at creating a “context-reading communication computer” (http://omcs.jp).

The aim of this project, which started on September 24, 2010, is to leverage the shared common background knowledge and senses (hereinafter referred to as “common sense”) used by humans when we converse with others to create a computer system that can understand implicit meanings and nuances of language in the same way as humans, and use the appropriate knowledge and words at the appropriate time.

“Play a Quiz Game with Nadya” (http://nadya.jp), a site used to gather common sense from the players, and “Poi bot” (http://poibot.jp), a site where a personalized robot character automatically generates Tweets which imitate that person’s distinctive communication style and way of thinking (he or she must already be a Twitter account holder), were the first two steps in the project.

“Finding Gifts with Sasha” is an experimental site which helps users choose gifts through conversations with the boy character Sasha. At first, his gift suggestions may not be perfect, but the system learns from the user’s feedback in the same way that children do in the course of their development. Utilizing more than 200,000 common-sense data gathered in the first two steps of the project, Sasha analyzes the profiles and comments posted on social media sites by the user and the intended gift recipient, and then makes gift recommendations to the user.

For someone who loves cats, for example, rather than suggesting an actual cat as a gift, the site provides gift suggestions that have a human element. Taking the “cats like warm places” item of common sense as a starting point, Sasha suggests things that will make a cat feel warm.

Links to e-commerce site pages are provided for the suggested gifts, and they can also be purchased online.

As this third step of the project develops, it will become possible, through the use of the “context-reading communication computer” and social media, to develop a wide range of communication techniques, including advertising, as well as next-generation business models such as e-commerce sites linked to consumer lifestyles and ways of providing customer context-driven service in bricks-and-mortar stores, that can be introduced in the future to a large number of enterprises.

- Step 3 of the project: “Finding Gifts with Sasha”

URL: http://sasha.nadya.jp (from May 17)

About MIT Media Lab

The MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte and former MIT President Jerome Wiesner. Lab researchers focus on the impact of emerging technologies on everyday life — technologies that promise to fundamentally transform our most basic notions of human capabilities. Unconstrained by traditional disciplines, Lab designers, engineers, artists and scientists work atelier-style in some 25 research groups, conducting more than 300 projects that range from neuroengineering, to how children learn, to developing the city car of the future. The Lab is responsible for more than 80 spinoffs, and has developed the technology for numerous commercial products, including e-ink, LEGO Mindstorms and Guitar Hero.

URL: http://www.media.mit.edu/

About Dentsu Inc.

Founded in 1901, Dentsu Inc. has held the position of the world’s largest single-brand agency for almost 40 years. Through its unique “Integrated Communication Design” approach, Dentsu offers multinational clients the most comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services in the industry. While continuing to pursue innovation in the digital arena, Dentsu is active in the production and marketing of sports, movies, anime and other entertainment content on a global scale. The Dentsu Group has more than 6,000 clients and close to 20,000 employees worldwide.

For more information, please visit: http://www.dentsu.com/.

Shusaku Kannan
Senior Manager
Corporate Communications Division
Dentsu Inc.
Phone: +81-3-6216-8042
E-mail: s.kannan@dentsu.co.jp

SOURCE Dentsu Inc.

Source: newswire

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